Heineken Cup Pools 08/09 Season

Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by Sir Speedy, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    Will be announced 11:15am tomorrow. Can't wait to be honest. Here's how the teams are seeded (from erc.com):

    • The draw will have four stages starting with the allocation of six teams from Tier 1 and then moving to the next Tier.

    • Allocation of Tier 1 - The Number 1 ranked team (Heineken Cup champions Munster) will be drawn into one of the six Pools. The remaining five top Tier teams will then be drawn into the five Pool spots left available.

    • Allocation of Tier 2, 3 and 4 – For each Tier allocation the teams will be drawn starting with the teams from the country with the highest number of teams participating in the tournament.

    Therefore the order of allocation in each Tier will be teams from France, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Italy until all teams in that Tier have been drawn. The draw will then move on to the teams in the next Tier.

    • In Tier 4 the seventh French team (based on ranking) will be drawn into the Pools last.

    • To avoid having two teams from the same country in the same Pool, some teams may be allocated to available Pool spots automatically during the course of the Draw.

    The Teams and Tiers

    TIER 1 – Munster, Toulouse, Biarritz Olympique, Leicester Tigers, Stade Français Paris, London Wasps
    TIER 2 – Leinster, Bath Rugby, Gloucester Rugby, Perpignan, Sale Sharks, Llanelli Scarlets
    TIER 3 – Ospreys, Cardiff Blues, ASM Clermont Auvergne, Newport Gwent Dragons, Ulster Rugby, Castres Olympique
    TIER 4* – Glasgow Warriors, Benetton Treviso, Edinburgh, Rugby Calvisano, Harlequins.

    *The last French Tier 4 team will be confirmed this weekend and will be either Montauban or Montpellier.
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  3. MunsterMan

    MunsterMan Guest

    Montauban are the last French team.


    That would keep us on our toes :ph34r:

    I would be much happier if Clermont switched places with Biaritz. IMO Clermont are one of the best teams in Europe and having them third tier completely negates the rest of the system although it is a big step up from previous years.
  4. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    That group is too easy for the likes of Munster. :p They'd walk all over Gloucester and Harlequins and even Clermont if they don't put out a full strength side again.
    As a Llanelli fan, I'd be very happy with:

    Stade Francais Paris

    Mind you, we'd struggle to get even third place in that pool...

    As a Sale fan also, I'd like:


    Would be some great 1 on 1 battles in the O's and Sale games!
  5. MunsterMan

    MunsterMan Guest


    For f*** sake! What a group.
  6. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    They've been announced:

    Pool 1

    Sale Sharks

    Pool 2




    Pool 4

    Stade Francais Paris

    Pool 5

    Newport-Gwent Dragons
    Glasgow Warriors

    Pool 6

    Biarritz Olympique
    Cardiff Blues
    Rugby Calvisano

    The pools look much more evenly matched than last year. Oh dear God, Sale have their work cut out for them. And...Llanelli's pool is almost as I predicted. Ospreys should walk their pool and Cardiff are going to need to play out of their skins to get out of their pool. And Newport...God help them.

    Anyone want to predict winners?
  7. camelback

    camelback Guest

    Like last year, Clermont's pool is the death group. Toulouse, Stade Francais and Wasps should not have problem. The pool 6 and 3 are very homogenous (except the italian).

    Indeed, we're happy to welcome our irish friends again, here in Clermont :D They already know the way ^^
  8. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    Clermont make any pool the Pool of Death. Dear God, why were Sale drawn with them? :wah:
  9. camelback

    camelback Guest

    Clermont make any pool the Pool of Death. Dear God, why were Sale drawn with them? :wah:
    Clermont should not be in thier 3.. But it could have been : Leicester, Llanelli, Clermont, Trevise. This pool would have been less difficult.
  10. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    Clermont make any pool the Pool of Death. Dear God, why were Sale drawn with them? :wah:
    Clermont should not be in thier 3.. But it could have been : Leicester, Llanelli, Clermont, Trevise. This pool would have been less difficult.
    Not really. Llanelli would pwn Clermont. :p
  11. Underestimate Leicester and Perpignan at your peril. They both have proven pedigree and know how to win when it comes to crunch in Europe. Whereas the Ospreys just don't yet. Going to Treviso is also nowhere near as easy as you would think. I don't think there are any easy pools this year.
  12. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    Underestimate Leicester and Perpignan at your peril. They both have proven pedigree and know how to win when it comes to crunch in Europe. Whereas the Ospreys just don't yet. Going to Treviso is also nowhere near as easy as you would think. I don't think there are any easy pools this year.
    Yeh I was a bit hasty in saying that. Leicester have proven they can beat anyone on the day against Gloucester this year and Munster in the 06/07 season. I don't really rate Perpignan's chances, although they will be tough to beat away from home.

    My predicted winners in order of points:

  13. Cymro

    Cymro Guest

    Take that group, could easily reach the Quater Finals!

    Llanelli were lucky I thought, a Tier 2 team is a tad of a joke, yes I know it goes on over the past 4 years but it really should have taken into account last season really (league and not cup form!)
  14. shazbooger

    shazbooger Guest

    Pool 1 (Munster, Sale, Clermont, Montauban)
    Tricky one here. I dont think Sale will have a huge impact on the group, and regardless of Munsters upheaval in the backroom staff, you cant bet against them going through as group winners. They are just better away from home then any other team out there. It will be a tough group though, so I'd imagine only one team to go through. Munster to qualify.

    Pool 2 (Wasps, Leinster, Castres, Edinburgh)
    I'm not too sure. I've got to avoid the natural bias towards Leinster and pretend to be objective while still tipping Leinster to top the group. I cant do that though as our away form has been pathetic. The rumoured signings of a new prop, and Rocky Elsom will beef up the pack, but I'm not sure if there is enough to get us through as group winners. It'll be the away form that will swing it either way. A few bonus points picked up will make all the difference. Wasps would have to be favourites.

    Pool3 (Leicester, Perpignan, Ospreys, Treviso)
    As usual with any group including an Italian team you could be looking at two qualifiers from this group, but I dont see it here. You never really know with the Ospreys what your going to get but I think they are a better side then their ranking suggests. I think the top three teams will all take points off eachother and Perpignan will sneak through as group winner.

    Pool 4 (Stade, Llanelli, Ulster, Harlequins)
    Stade should take this group easily enough. I only see one team coming through from here.

    Pool 5 (Toulouse, bath, Newport, Glasgow)
    Toulouse and Bath to romp through with relative ease. Toulouse as Group winners, Bath as one of the best placed runners up.

    Pool 6 (Biarritz, Glouster, Cardiff, Calvisano)
    Biarritz and Gloucester to qualify. Biarritz as runners up. Gloucester take the home quarter final.

    So home quarter finalsist would be Stade, Toulouse, Gloucester and probably Munster with Wasps, Perpignan, Bath, and Biarritz travelling.
  15. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    If Clermont Auvergne focus on this tournament, then they could claim Pool 1 with ease. At their best, they are easily the best side in Europe but the outcome of this pool depends on whether they put out 1st choice teams. Sale certainly have the firepower to put up a fight and could surprise both sides if they play to their potential. Munster will be the favourites due to their last season, although the fixtures could affect how they perform -if they play away to Sale and Clermont at first and come away with two losses then their confidence will be in pieces.
  16. Stillknox

    Stillknox Guest

    Again the pool of death for Clermont... but this time they will not send a B-Team at Limerick, and Sale is not as good as Wasps. They really have a chance to go trough. Montauban have no chance but such a pool is a good way to discover the delights of the H-CUp...

    I'm happy with Stade Français's pool. We beat the Quins two times this year... I know they will recruit some good players like Evans, but we have the chance of taking them at the very beginning of the season, with not their full strenght. This is quite the same thing with Ulster and I don't think that Llanelli could be as good as 2006-2007, especially with the departure of Peel. I'm tired of losing in Final, I hope the next year will be SF's year... after all, Munster lost two finals before making it. :rolleyes:

    My prediction:

    P1: Clermont
    Because of the Munster's new staff... and Clermont will be more hungry than Munster, especially after what happened this year. Plus the fact that they could be in confidence after a potential win in Top 14 in two weeks.

    P2: Wasps, Leinster
    Wasps are maybe the best team in Europe on good form and I don't see Leinster losing in Edinburgh again...

    P3: Ospreys ??
    I don't know what to expect from the Tigers next year... and I don't see Perpignan as an european threat but who knows.

    P4: Stade Français

    P5: Toulouse, Bath
    Toulouse in the first place, Bath as best runner up.

    Biarritz is in the same position as Leicester. If they can restructure the team and be efficient early in the season they could be one of the best runner-up. If it's not the case Cardiff can beat them easily and contest this last place for the quarters.
  17. Thingimubob

    Thingimubob Guest

    don't think you should write off Cardiff just yet. the Arsm Park isn't the easiest of places to come and win, as Stade Francais found out this year, and have an impressive away form, taking the scalps of Bristol, Bath, Edinburgh (A place where Leinster and Leicester both struggled) and pushing Stade all the way in Paris. So think if Cardiff pull their Socks up, win all their home games, beat Calvisano in Italy and get a couple of points away to Biarritz and Gloucester, they're in with a chance
  18. peppers07

    peppers07 Guest

    Pool1 Munster/Clermont
    Another group of death for Munster and Clermont Cant call this one if Clermont play their second team away from Munster should get through but I doubt they will. Sale cant be writen of either and have a chance if they play out of their skins if either Munster or Clermont manage to sneak an awy win against sale that could be desicive .

    Pool2 Wasps1+Leinster2
    providing Leinster finally manage to beat their bogey team Edinburgh they should sneak in as second place.

    Pool3 Ospreys
    Ospreys will be hungryer than ever this season and Leicester will in their first season with a new coach and some probably wont be able to get a reall good one after sacking Marcello Lofreda so unfairly .

    Pool4 Stade Francais
    Easily the softest group in the competition Stade should walk this.

    Pool5 Toulouse1+Bath2
    Easy group for Toulouse and Bath cant see any upsets here

    Pool6 Gloucester
    Quit a tough pool Biaritz and Cardif will take points od eich other and neither will get enough points to finish as best placed runner up
  19. MunsterMan

    MunsterMan Guest

    I remember saying in this thread last year that I would back Munster to win all their home games and beat Llanelli and wasps away (off by two points) and got laughed at. I think Munster will win home and away against Sale and Montauban bit I hate to say it, I can see us losing to Clermont. Twice. Clermont are IMO the best team in the competition.
  20. Gavin

    Gavin Guest

    To be fair it shows great depth in the European game when all teams will find it hard progressing to the next round. I expect Montauban to be like Portugal was in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. They will have so much pride and want to prove themselves against the stronger teams. Clermont Auvergne should be favourites for next year's Heineken Cup, as they have proved themselves in the Top14, with Munster, Toulouse and Wasps just behind them.
  21. danny

    danny Guest

    When this draw is made each year all I care about is the away trips. This year its Biarritz and Calvisano, what a couple of beauties!!
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